Washington managed to add to its NL East lead with a win over New York on Monday, but the MLB odds favor the Mets to even the set with the Nationals tonight.
Matt Harvey didn't have his best stuff Monday night, and the New York Mets don't have the kind of offense that can overcome the early 5-0 deficit Washington Nationals hitters built.
The end result was a 7-2 Nationals victory over the Mets and Harvey who had all but owned Washington previously in his career. With the victory, the Nats stretched their lead atop the NL East to three games over New York as the clubs head into Tuesday evening.
Washington is recalling Joe Ross from the minors to hurl the game's first pitch at 7:05 PM (ET), the rookie an underdog to Jacob deGrom and the Mets. The late decision on who would pitch for the Nationals kept the game off the MLB betting board at many shops, but BetOnline is currently showing New York at -117 with a 7 run total.
deGrom Still Searching for 1st Win vs. Nationals
Manager Terry Collins probably would have liked to maneuver New York's rotation to have deGrom for Wednesday's matinee. The righthander has been just about untouchable in seven starts under the sun, going 5-1 with a 1.09 ERA along with a 52/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 27-year-old has still been solid under the lights, pitching to a 2.95 ERA while the Mets split those 10 outings.
deGrom will be facing the Nationals for the fourth time in his career, and second this season, with the Mets an imperfect 0-3 in the prior assignments. He dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Jordan Zimmermann and Washington in his season debut on this mound, then got banged around at Citi Field at the end of April in an 8-2 setback opposite Stephen Strasburg.
Ross is once again replacing Strasburg in manager Matt Williams' rotation. The younger brother of San Diego's Tyson Ross, the 6'-4" righty was up in June for three starts with some impressive results, Washington winning two of the games. Ross struck out 23 in his 20+ frames, walking just two, and is seeing the Mets for the first time in his young career.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Mike Muchlinski hasn't worked a game behind the plate for more than two weeks, and we'll have to see if that long layoff interrupts the good 'under' run he was on. Now in his 10th season at the major league level, Muchlinski is 6-9 O/U on the season, the 'under' cashing in his last four dish assignments and six of his last seven. This will be the third time he calls balls and strikes with the MLB odds making the home team the underdog, each of the previous two coming up short.
Afternoon and early evening thunderstorms are in the forecast for the nation's capital today, and baseball bettors may want to wait until just before game time to get their wagers down in order to make sure neither starting pitcher is interrupted during warm-ups. I'm riding the Nationals once again with my free baseball pick.
MLB Pick: Nationals +107 at BetOnline